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WE NEED HONEST AUTHENTIC COMMUNICATION TO REPLACE THE TOXICITY AT THE SK SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS

Updated: Nov 23

DR SATYA CHANDRAGIRI, TRANSCRIPT BY KYKN RADIO

Press statement 9/29/2022 6:30 pm


Fellow Salem and Keizer residents and parents: I stand here today ethically troubled by what we’ve come to.I am not here to tell you that we aren’t going through one of the toughest times in recent history in our public schools or facing unprecedented challenges that most of us in public offices or leadership have ever experienced before or question the motive of anyone in public offices.


We all can agree there should be no room for violence, shouting, and disrespect in our schools or school board meetings.

I am here today to call attention to my fellow school board members. I want to say that a Dysfunctional School Board is harmful for all our children and families. I ask what did we miss and why did we miss that we have this mess in our hands?


The buck stops with the school Board. I believe that that we cannot blame others and we must take full responsibility. We cannot wash our hands off and claim we have no role.

CASTING BLAME DOES NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEMS, ACTION SOLVES THE PROBLEMS.


We must stop ghosting parents and families, fellow school board members and start acting like responsible adult public servants and elected leaders.


How can we fulfil our fiduciary duty when people at the top can't even respond to emails? Stopping elected directors from asking questions and restrict all discussion and debates?


I want to say to my fellow director, this is not gaslighting when I point this out in the board meeting! How long can we go along to get along and turn a blind eye when our children and families are being harmed?


I believe when Board keeps secrets amongst itself, district keeps secret from the board and the community, it is always bad news for all our children. It harms the safety, learning and wellbeing of all our children. It is not acceptable. I am left with no choice but to come to you directly as we have come to this state. Silence or verbal violence, pretending to go along to get along is not the way to address the issues.

We all read the news report. Many watched when a Veteran, Grandfather, school coach was jumped by a mob of 15-20 people, abuses hurled based on perceived skin color and nationality right in the school parking lot because he lawfully took some pictures few hours prior to that when he felt threatened by a group who had earlier targeted him.

I read the report and I am very troubled.


I am very troubled with the investigation that was conducted, the conclusions, recommendations, and the serious harm to the credibility of our school board and district as a result and our public is now shut out of the public meeting, parents blamed as a collective punishment based on the recommendation!


I have been bearing witness to the events and watching this develop in the years since I have been serving in the board since July 2019. Sadly, it has culminated in this serious turn of events in recent months. From targeting the board directors, district leaders and now parents, grandparents and the public are free game. All because they are perceived to be from the White community or have different views.


This is clearly wrong. I watched this pattern of disrespect, distrust, and othering sections of our communities.

As an immigrant parent and person of color, I want to say that right is right and wrong is wrong even if they are my children. I don’t care what your skin color, gender, identity, nationality is, public school is for everyone.Your history is my history. It is our American History. It is all our obligation to take responsibility, stand up and make our nation become what we want to see. Not sit back and watch what our nation becomes!


Here are my observations why I am troubled with the investigation report that you read in the news media and some of the serious problems that I have been observing. I will take your questions after I share my observation.


1--ONE

I find this investigation did not consider all the observations and appears to overlook many facts and selectively used the facts to favor one side.

When did taking photographs of people on public property become illegal? Doesn't our first amendment provide protection for us to take photos in public places? Let's not forget that Mr. George Floyd would not have received justice if it was not for the first amendment protection that allowed the woman to use her cell phone camera and record video of the gruesome murder of Mr. Floyd that ultimately brought justice.


2--TWO

The issue at hand is not whether pictures were taken on public property, but why a group of 15-20 people mobbed the individual taking photos, shouting racial epithets and other hateful statements thus causing the individual to fear for his safety and life?

Why was that allowed to happen with no consequences, while the individual taking pictures was the subject of a biased investigation? It appears that no one has been identified nor any group or organization has taken responsibility for the mob attacking a law-abiding Veteran and making abusive hate statements based on perceived skin color and nationality with impunity in plain sight of everyone?

3--THREE

I see a pattern of refusal of our school board and district leadership to take equal action to other misbehaviors at school board meetings. I have sat through many a meeting where people in the room intimidate, yell at, and otherwise try to disrupt the testimony and presence of other concerned citizens.